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HER Number:MDV121538
Name:Island House and Island Cottage, South Brent


Former farmhouse, later vicarage, now split into two private dwellings. This building was the dwelling house of a small farm recorded on the 1843 Tithe Map. Parallel to the road, it probably dates from the 17th century but has been completely gutted inside. Served as the vicarage for a time. Possible 'priest's hole' recorded. May have been a house on this site as early as 1247. William Crossing and his wife lived here from 1872 until 1897.


Grid Reference:SX 696 602
Map Sheet:SX66SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • FARMHOUSE (Constructed, XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1699 AD (Between))
  • VICARAGE (Altered, XVI to XVIII - 1600 AD? to 1799 AD (Between))
  • HOUSE (Altered, XIX - 1843 AD to 1880 AD (Between))

Full description

South West Heritage Trust, 1838-1848, Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments (Cartographic). SDV359954.

3033: Baker's Tenement recorded.

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

Dwelling has been divided into two by the later 19th century.

Robinson, R., 1977-1979, South Brent Parish Checklist Worksheets, page 771-2 of 821 (Worksheet). SDV340722.

SX69676027 Island House
This house lies opposite the church and at one time served as the vicarage. It is shown on the 1843 Tithe Map. Part of plot 3033: ‘Baker’s Tenement. Dwelling house, other buildings, front garden and yard’. Owner and occupier the Reverend George Baker.
The house is now two dwellings. It is stone built and slate hung, with a single span slate roof. Some windows are sash type, some modern, like the doors. Chimneys at each gable end, cement rendered and of substantial size. Modern porch on the southern half.
The interior has been completely gutted and rebuilt. A small space measuring about 6 feet by 3 feet and 6 feet high, reached through a low entrance, has been recorded and may be a possible ‘priest’s hole’. It does not seem to have been adjacent to a chimney and so is unlikely to have been a smoke chamber. No dating evidence such as fireplaces or roof timbers are described by the current occupant.
A probable date of 17th century seems likely. Being in the Glebe, it may have been a Glebe farm, before becoming for a short period a vicarage.
Oral information provided by a South Brent resident records that the ‘priest’s hole’ or chamber referred to had straw on the floor when discovered. Island House is also stated to have served as a vicarage in 1778 according to a survey among the Petre documents (Devon Records Office) and in the opinion of Brother John Stephens the archivist of Buckfast Abbey, had been a vicarage as far back as the 17th century (which may add credence to the interpretation of the ‘priest’s hole’).

Wall, G., 2005, The Book of South Brent. Another Portrait of a Dartmoor Community, 17, 24, 44-5 (Monograph). SDV360849.

In 1247 the village of Brent consisted of the church and seven houses; Island House and the Church House were two of these.
William Crossing and his wife moved here in 1872 and his father co-owned the mill at Crackhills; William later managed the mill before (when the mill finally failed) becoming a coal merchant in the later 19th century. He and his wife moved to West Devon in 1897.

Ordnance Survey, 2018, MasterMap 2018 (Cartographic). SDV360652.

'Island House' and 'Island Cottage' are shown on the modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV340722Worksheet: Robinson, R.. 1977-1979. South Brent Parish Checklist Worksheets. South Brent Parish Checklist. Worksheet. page 771-2 of 821.
SDV359954Cartographic: South West Heritage Trust. 1838-1848. Digitised Tithe Maps and Transcribed Apportionments. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Digital.
SDV360652Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap 2018. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #110861 ]
SDV360849Monograph: Wall, G.. 2005. The Book of South Brent. Another Portrait of a Dartmoor Community. The Book of South Brent. Another Portrait of a Dartmoor Community. Hardback Volume. 17, 24, 44-5.

Associated Monuments

MDV121536Part of: Bakers Tenement, South Brent (Monument)
MDV121535Related to: 5-8 Prospect Place, South Brent (Building)
MDV121541Related to: Albert House, South Brent (Building)
MDV5760Related to: South Brent, The Manor House (Building)
MDV5737Related to: St Petrock's Parish Church, South Brent (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 6 2018 1:13PM